Despite Demand, Bureaucracy Keeping Russian Doctors from Working in Estonia ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

A law requiring MDs to serve a three- to five-year residency is holding back Russian doctors from working in Estonia, despite staff shortages in some areas.

Doctors in Russia are required to work one to two years in hospitals before becoming doctors, a requirement which does not satisfy the Estonian Health Board, which grants licenses to practice medicine in Estonia, Eesti Päevaleht reported today.

A spokeswoman for Ida-Viru County's central hospital, in Narva, said they lack 20 MDs, a figure which is likely to increase in the near future as the average age of doctors is high. Over 120 Russian doctors have expressed interest in working there in the past five years alone.

Experience after the residency period is not taken into consideration, but Iiris Saluri of the Health Board said this should change, as many experienced doctors are being turned away due only to a short internship period.